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The Perfect Match Letter

By Ford R. Myers
President, Career Potential, LLC

When responding to an advertised job opening, following-up after an interview, or pursuing an opportunity arising out of your networking activities, a particularly strong format for your cover letter is called a “Perfect Match Letter.”

All three of the situations mentioned above offer the chance to sell yourself by matching YOUR experience/strengths/contributions to THEIR problems/needs/challenges.

The “Perfect Match Letter” gets its name from the fact that your letter is divided into two columns with a line down the middle of the page, giving the body text an overall appearance of a two-column “matching exercise.” The left-side column heading should be “Your Requirements” and the right-side column heading should be “My Qualifications.” You will fill the left-side column with bullet points outlining the credentials and experience that the company is looking for. The right-side column will have its own list of bullet points, itemizing your matching qualifications for each of the job’s requirements.

The reason this format is so effective is that you’re making it easy for the recipient of your letter to see clearly and quickly that you’re a match for every criteria they’re looking for. They won’t have to think or interpret your letter; usually they’ll just place your materials into the “yes” file!

Another compelling reason to master this type of letter is the fact that, in my experience, “Perfect Match Letters” have a very high response rate! Up to 75% of the time you send this letter format in response to a job opening, you’ll receive a positive response – whether that’s placing your resume on the “yes” pile, or receiving a phone call from the employer, or getting a meeting with a recruiter, or landing an interview with the hiring manager – you get the idea!

Of course, “Perfect Match Letters” are more difficult and time-consuming to write than the standard, short cover letters that most candidates send. But the time and effort will be worth it! Plus, once you’ve drafted a few of these letters, the process becomes much easier. This is because you can simply “copy and paste” many of the snippets from your existing “Perfect Match Letters” into your new ones.

Here is a sample introduction for a letter where you’re responding to a job posting:

Dear Ms. Nordberg:

Whether the issue is employee transition, retention, development or selection – I am a big believer in deployment, and not just employment. This is the mindset I would like to bring to the position of Managing Consultant in your Baltimore office.

When your job posting came to my attention, it became clear how closely my qualifications match your requirements – as you will see in the outline below …

Here is a sample introduction for a letter where you’re following-up on a networking meeting in which the other person mentioned challenges in his/her own company:

Dear Mr. Garagiola:

During our networking meeting on February 10, you discussed various issues within your supply chain management systems. Additionally, you mentioned your desire to reduce the cost and risks of code customization.

In all of my prior positions, I have been tasked with reducing costs and improving management processes. After listening carefully to your business concerns, it seems that you would benefit by engaging a professional who could accomplish exactly that at Trundle Corp.

With this in mind, I have taken the liberty of listing below the problems you reported, along with specific examples of how I have successfully addressed such issues in the past …

Here is a sample introduction for a letter where you’re following-up on a job interview with a Thank-You note:

Dear Ms. Mayer:

Thank you very much for interviewing me last Friday and discussing why I would be an excellent fit for the Principal Product Manager position. From our conversation and those with other team members, I feel even more interested in this opportunity with Transtronics.

I have taken the liberty of outlining below the requirements you seem to be looking for in the successful candidate, along with my relevant professional accomplishments …

As you can now see, the “Perfect Match Letter” can be applied effectively to a range of circumstances in your job search. However, it is not recommended that you use this letter format in every case. The “Perfect Match Letter” should only be used when you discover an opportunity that truly seems like an ideal fit for you – and that you’re particularly excited about. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting time that could be better spent on other critical job search activities!

About the Author:
Ford R. Myers is an award-winning career coach, speaker and author of the best-seller, Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring. Ford’s firm helps clients take charge of their careers, create the work they love, and earn what they deserve! He has held senior consulting positions at three of the nation’s largest career service firms. Ford’s articles have appeared in thousands of publications and web sites, and he has been interviewed on every major television and radio network. Ford has also conducted presentations at hundreds of companies, associations and universities. Learn more at


FORD R. MYERS is an award-winning, nationally-known Career Coach, best-selling author, and speaker. He is the President of Career Potential, LLC, a premier provider of career success services. Through powerful individual, corporate and government career programs, Ford has helped thousands of clients take charge of their careers, create the work they love, and earn what they deserve!

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